Amanda Lopez creates intimately inclusive photography that celebrates the nuances of everyday life and the preciousness of living. She documents the energy of American city life, capturing a balance of beauty, strength and urban tenacity. Intrigued, I talked to Amanda about her work, her life and her influences…
How did you get into photography? Was it something that was encouraged when you were young?
I got my start in photography thanks to my high school photo teacher and my dad. Mr. Tafoya saw some thing in my photos and encouraged me to continue taking pictures. My dad gave me his Canon A-E1 and the rest is history, as they say.
If you could point to one major influence on your style and work what would it be?
It’s hard to pinpoint just one influence. I am inspired by so many things but perhaps the one thing that remains a constant is my family and friends. I feel really lucky to have such incredible, beautiful, motivating, talented, lovely people in my life. It’s really a blessing. Their energy keeps me inspired.
I really like the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) imagery you have incorporated into your work. How did that come about?
I was asked to be contribute some work to a Dia de los Muertos show last year so I created new photos with the help of makeup artist Jenni Tay and hairstylist Justina Downs. The work was well received so I decided to continue working on the series. 10 new Dia de los Muertos portraits will premier Feb 13th at upper playground in Sacramento as part of my solo show, caliLOVE.
What’s been your career highlight so far?
There have been so many. The biggest probably has been getting the opportunity to assist the ridiculously talented Estevan Oriol. He is hands down my favorite photographer of all time. I got the opportunity to assist him when I lived in LA and it was a dream come true. This man is amazing so it was an honor to get the chance to watch him work (and hold his camera equipment.)
Another highlight would have to be seeing my name in the photo contributor section of XXL. XXL is one of my favorite magazines so it was an absolute joy to see my name alongside some of the greatest names in photography.
Film or digital? Or both?
You know, I shoot both but I prefer film. There is nothing like picking up negatives from the lab and looking at proof sheets. Or the detail you get from a 6×7 neg. I’m kind of in love with film.
What does 2010 hold for you?
Who know exactly what 2010 holds for me but what I know for sure is that I’ll be showing more work through out the United States this year. I am also working on a book project about a female sneaker collector with Lori Lobenstine, founder of Female Sneaker Fiends. This year we will continue to travel though out the US, and hopefully over seas, to photograph and interview female sneak fiends.
If you find yourself in Sacremento in the next month then check out Amanda’s Show, details are:
Upper Playground Sacramento Presents: caliLOVE: New Work by Amanda Lopez
Opening reception: February 13, 2010 6PM-10PM. Show dates: February 13, 2010- March 6, 2010
Upper Playground Sacramento 2524 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95816  444-8148
Info: Upper Playground Sacramento hosts the opening reception of caliLOVE New Work by Amanda Lopez. The event begins at 6PM until 10PM on February 13. The exhibition can be viewed until March 6 during regular business hours Monday through Saturday 11:00AM – 7:00PM and Sunday 12:00PM – 6:00PM.